Tuesday, October 25, 2011
3-2-2: All's Well That Ends Ok?
Despite playing utterly atrocious hockey the Rangers have earned eight points in seven road games to start this season.
That's it, the simple fact of the matter. The Blueshirts ended their trip on Monday night with a narrow 2-1 win over Winnipeg. The Rangers were a step slow, utterly out of sorts and completely dominated for long stretches of the game. By the Thrashers. That being said, they still managed to win. Imagine what it will be like once Tortorella learns how to coach (or gets replaces by someone who can). We can keep dreaming the impossible dream later but for the moment, let's take a quick look at this one.
*Even though Brandon Prust's poor attempt to tap dance with the puck in his skates resulted in Borat's goal, he was still the Rangers most effective forward besides Fedotenko. As I tweeted, Prust has fought five times in the first two minutes of games while he as been with the Rangers and the team has won all five. Something to be said with seeing their hardest working guy going to the mat for them that inspires victory I guess.
*Second assists are ridiculous. Del Zaster collects a point by passing two feet over to Dan Girardi, who waited and made a perfect feed to Fedotenko for the Rangers first goal. MDZ had a team-high 6:51 and achieved exactly nothing. Perhaps if they go through with the signing of Anton Stralman and Sauer comes back we can be rid of him. (Not that Stralman is good, but he is a step above MDZ).
*He played 17 minutes but I can't say that Tim Erixon was noticeable at all. That is a good thing.
*Seeing as Mike Rupp is using injury as an excuse, how soon until we hear the same about Boyle? The big Boston boy looked exhausted. He was a step slow all night long and was completely outplayed. Credit should be given for his positioning near the crease on the Fedotenko power play goal but it wasn't like he was pulling a Holmstrom, battling for position - the Thrashers let him float around the high slot.
*Anisimov on the fourth line? Eesh. Rupp and Newbury are no Prust and Shelley, they can't make the room that he needs and clearly couldn't help his confidence.
*When will Gaborik and Richards realize that fancy moves like spin o' rama passes are ridiculous? This is the NHL, not some beer league.
*And Wolski is clearly not the solution. Sure it is hard to judge seeing as he 'just got out of the tub' but I said before that he wasn't the answer and he did nothing in 15 minutes of game. Not even a single shot attempt.
*Stepan actually earned himself a few scoring chances but he didn't have any zip on his shots.
*Dubi is going to break through one of these games. He has to. Right? Since Captain Cally decided to show up, Dubi has to follow at some point soon ...
*Torts just wasted that time out. It is hard to fault the usage on an icing but when the draw is in your own end in the first period - with the short changes - it just shows that you have no faith in your players' ability to win a faceoff and get off the ice.
*Erik Christensen had the same impact in the game that he would have had if he actually dressed - no impact at all.
*That the Rangers took just one minor penalty was a nice change but so often it just looked like they weren't physically involved enough to bother to take penalties and the Thrashers weren't quick enough or working hard enough to draw them.
*Couldn't help but laugh at the Jets fans chanting Mmmmaaaaarrrrttttyyy at Biron in the third period. Sorry guys, you can't compete with us.
*Ok, the MTS staff played Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" ... why is it that the Garden rarely plays awesome music? They play garbage, and at nauseating decibels. Sadly can't see that getting a renovation with the rest of the building.
*The Jets sweaters look like those third jerseys the Blue Jackets wore last season. Yawn.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Nik Antropov - one goal.
2-Ruslan Fedotenko - one goal and one assist.
1-Marty Biron - 27 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Chris Mason - just two power play goals against, one was on a redirect that he couldn't see and the other a bad bounce off of Bogosian's skate.
2-Biron - Simple solid play. He was far more composed then he was when he imploded before my eyes in Switzerland.
1-Feds - It wasn't like the Ukrainian gave an more or any less than he usually does, his work just happened to pay off tonight.